As the EFF prepares for its second National People’s Assembly to elect its leadership next month, there is a growing sense of unhappiness among the so-called ground forces about the party’s empty promises on land expropriation without compensation and the lifestyle of some of the party’s leaders.
The EFF is unwavering in its call for land expropriation and has not shied away from saying that land will be safer in the hands of the state.
This has proved to be one of the pivotal factors in the party’s discussion document which was sent to the media.
“All land in private hands is from henceforth expropriated without compensation and placed in the hands of the people as a whole,” reads part of the document.
However, there seems to be a group of EFF supporters – believed to be detractors of leader Julius Malema – who have thrown a spanner in the works by stating that the party was all talk and no action.
Alexandra leader and prominent Johannesburg councillor Moshe Mphahlele wrote an email to delegates warning them not to be fooled by the promises that would be made by the leadership regarding land.
City Press is in possession of the email sent to the delegates in which Mphahlele accuses the EFF leadership of failing to practice what it preaches.
Mphahlele said the leadership was turning into a “carbon copy of the ANC” that has lost the radical approach.
“Years are passing and we are promised that the Parliament will finalise the issue of land, but when? The ANC strategy of delaying tactics is used in the EFF. We are really becoming the carbon copy of the ANC. We have lost our radicalism and we should pick up our spear now,” said Mphahlele.
In the email Mphahlele criticised the party’s unwillingness to enforce the land policies and he advocated for members to question what he called the “resistance to assist members who have been arrested for taking action in the procurement of land”.
Mphahele criticised the issue of the lifestyle of some of the leaders.
“Our problem is when you go to media-infested places like the Durban July to show off your newly accumulated wealth, through the hard work and sweat of ground forces that are doing everything in their power to make sure that the EFF takes over the government. Please find other discreet places and quieter ways of eating your money without demoralising the spirit of ground forces who are hard at work ... they are not benefiting while their leaders are living it up.
“It just makes it harder for us to mobilise the ground [forces] as everyone who participates in the revolutionary programme feels he has to be paid so that he/she can also live it up like the leadership.
“Now everyone wants to benefit from the EFF and no one wants to volunteer as it should be, and is cause of the leadership lifestyle,” reads the email.
Pleading with the delegates, Mphahlele urged them to think of their love for the organisation and not the love for the leadership.
“If no leader is willing to spend a night in jail for expropriating land, then why should the ground forces be willing to experience what their leaders are not willing to experience. The EFF has turned into a self-enrichment tool,” he said in the email.
“Many of our ground forces and the community members who were mobilised to expropriate land and other revolutionary activities are now lingering in jails without the help of EFF.”
He said political deployees should donate 10% of their salaries to invest in legal representatives that will work with the party to help their members in need of legal assistance.
Mphahlele refused to shed more light on the contents of his email when approached for comment yesterday.
Ironically, the party has placed much emphasis on South Africa’s judicial system and how it should be adjusted to accommodate the poor in its discussion points.
In the discussion document, the party looks at making the justice system more accessible to the poor, how to remedy gender-based violence in the country and how to build a diverse judiciary.
The EFF’s policy on the justice system seeks to address the issue of access to justice in its multidimensional perspective and not confine it to issues of physical or financial access.
Do you agree the EFF is no longer as radical as before? What do you think of the criticism of its leaders’ lifestyles?
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